So many times you will walk into a room and there will be a huge mantle, with art above, lighting, maybe a plant....enough already! sometimes, a more restrained approach will give a more sophisticated, elegant approach. For the fireplace shown above, I used a simple precast trim, around the inside edge to softly delineate from the plaster wall. I also inserted a wrought iron plaque to help the proportion of the opening, creating the illusion of a larger firebox. I think it was pretty successful in making a quiet statement. I deliberately under scaled the art to encourage people to approach, and then added old world sconces on either side for a flourish.
If you are dealing with an existing fireplace, here are some thoughts about how to create a simpler presentation:
- Try removing the mantle all together, it will really open up the wall. If considering this, make sure you have a firebox opening that is in proportion to your space, or else you may just create more problems for yourself.
- If removing the mantle is not an option, you can paint it the same color as the wall, it will then become much less dominant in the room.
- Try not to clutter up the space, use only one or two accessories, or try using an art piece that is a little under scaled.